‘Mugabe defeated, but Mugabeism continues to thrive’

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Pretoria – Zimbabwe’s former deputy prime minister Arthur Mutambara on Wednesday said even though longtime leader Robert Mugabe has been booted from this seat of power, the systems which sustained the 93-year-old for almost four decades are yet to be dismantled.

“We have work to do. Let us use the opportunity before us to break with the past and create a different Zimbabwe. Let us evaluate and comprehend what went wrong with our politics, society and economy in the past 37 years. Going forward, we must fashion strategies and frameworks to radically transform the political governance and economic management of our country,” said Mutambara.

“More specifically, our expectations and aspirations should include; electoral reforms, media reforms, removal of repressive legislation, release of political prisoners, and economic stabilization coupled with economic recovery, shared economic growth and inclusive economic prosperity.”

He said the current opportunity presented by the resignation of Mugabe, following intense pressure from the military and Zimbabweans in general, presented a golden opportunity to map a new course for the small Southern African nation.

“We need an inclusive, magnanimous, and national interest driven, definition of the content and direction of this Zimbabwe Moment. For the students and workers, the struggle against the Mugabe regime is 30 years old, and for the opposition parties it is 18 years. The removal of Mugabe has a long history,” he said.

“Let us understand very clearly that, in addition to fighting against Mugabe, the dictator, we have also been fighting to dismantle the system, values and culture that he has bequeathed us – Mugabeism.”

Mutambara charged the current generation of Zimbabweans to take it upon themselves to “deliver a stable, peaceful prosperous and democratic Zimbabwe”, where those that govern the nation do so with the consent of the governed.

“We must deliver free and fair elections. We must deliver a globally competitive economy. That is our generational mandate, beyond Mugabe. This Zimbabwe Moment must not be a missed opportunity,” he said.

Mutambara served as Zimbabwe’s deputy prime minister from 2009 to 2013.

In those four years, Mutambara, Morgan Tsvangirai and Mugabe were the principal leaders in a power-sharing government brokered by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, on behalf of the Southern African Development Community, following highly disputed elections in 2008.